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Villa March On In Carling Cup

Aston Villa
1 - 0
Cardiff City

Villa Park


Attendance: 22 527


Ok, I came home last night and thought - write a match report or watch some tv including the highlights? I went for the latter, mainly because it was closer to the kitchen for a cup of herbal and also at that point, I wasn't sure I wanted to re-live the game, as it was in fairness, a relatively dull affair!

When I say dull, once the whistle blew for full time, I wasn't at all bothered... we can bore our way all the way to picking up the Cup for all I care...!... but if you were looking for entertainment, you really were in the wrong place. Again, I repeat, the result is all that matters, MON isn't in the entertainment game, he's in the winning game, so last night... JOB DONE... next!

Within 3 minutes we were 1 up. John Carew went on a run, I thought he'd gone too far instead of passing over to Gabby in the box, luckily the big man knew what he was doing and as usual, my thoughts didn't! He carried on, crossed the ball and Gabby took one of the cockiest goals he'll ever take. To see him attempt a back heal just shows how high his confidence is and how arrogant his belief in his ability is. Arrogance and cockiness in a striker is a FANTASTIC thing by the way!

We basically cut through them like butter and I thought at that point the match had the potential to be a total rout. Nope, not Villa... we don't do things the easy way do we?! One of these days the lads really will switch on and murder a team, I think a lot of us said the same last season. I'm sure with a bit more aggression and... no, I was going to say desire but I think that would be taking things too far, now I'm stuck, a bit more.... 'something' (technical football term... or cop out, you decide!) we really could push on and ravage other teams.

To be fair Cardiff City, who came with a full fan contingent who sang their hearts out (all good apart from that awful Gabby song, take the St Michael out of the players with pleasure but don't start singing about someone's mom ffs!) got all the men apart from (usually) Boothroyd behind the ball when we attacked and they did pass the ball about nicely themselves when they had it. I could say their only downfall was a lack of a cutting edge but having seen the highlights, they arguably had the better chances - especially after we scored - and Brad Guzan was kept busy. Also, they did actually score but it was disallowed for offside. Sorry, if that was offside then I'm Nigel Reo-Cokers wrestling trainer!

James Milner did have the chance to put us two up and the tie totally beyond Cardiff City before that but hit the post from the penalty spot. He'll still be man enough to take the next one I'm sure.

I could ramble on a bit more if you wished but as you don't wish I won't! Basically, we won, job done, we are in the next round and there is no way we can't make a real charge on actually winning this cup this season. MON made five changes and they all looked good changes, unlike last season when there weren't any real options other than the kids (no disrespect, they'll all get their chance at some stage) but now we have changes where the players are also worthy of first team positions. So lets hope we get a good draw in the next round, I can't see why we should fear any team in the competition and when the FA Cup starts, lets go hell for leather for that... Oh and whilst we are at it, why not win the league as well.... ok, I just have to go too far don't I!?

Villa need to start killing off these teams but cup ties are often scrappy and in fairness to Cardiff City, they made a very good account of themselves and Dave Jones appears to be showing once again what a very good manager he is.

I am still hoping Villa have more than a gear or two to step up as the season progresses, if we do then we have great promise, if we don't then .....?

Star Player

Gabby for one of the cockiest goals I've seen in a long while!

Player Ratings

Brad Guzan 7

didn't let us down when needed, which at some points was quite often.

Habib Beye 6

was told off by MON a few times for passing back but did look solid enough and made a couple of important tackles, the one showing studs was a bit too much though!

Carlos Cuellar 7

so much better in the centre, some crunching and important tackles

James Collins 7

going to be a popular player for Villa fans I think, looks solid and uncompromising

Nicky Shorey 7

I thought he had a smashing game, plenty of winding forward runs and one chance to maybe shoot and score

James Milner 6

got about plenty, put in the work, shame about the penalty miss but you can't have everything!

Fabian Delph 6

looks promising, does look exactly as he is, a kid learning his trade but he doesn't look overawed and certainly isn't afraid of making tackles.

Stiliyan Petrov 6

played the holding role, passes sideways and backwards far too much but then, maybe that is what he is told to do.

Craig Gardner 5.5

probably illustrating why he isn't starting in the Premiership. I like Gardner but .... Then again, it can't be easy to come in from the cold and be straight up to speed?

John Carew 6

set up the goal so can't really complain, but he didn't look like he broke into a sweat, not yet at his best this season (which is promising as we are winning with some players nowhere near their peak form yet) Also kept coming deep which to be fair MON I think wanted him to as the boss did shout at him at one point to come into midfield to get a ball. Would much rather see him right up front terrorising defenders. Changed his mind from scoring a couple of times. Big John, don't change your mind and pass, SHOOT!

Gabby Agbonlahor 7

starting to really look the part and that goal was brilliantly cocky.

Marc Albrighton (on for Gardner 78)

Made a few very good runs, looks like another hot prospect from the youth academy set up.

My match ratings defined

Match ratings defined: 1) Totally awful, had a mare, should be taken out and shot, 2) Dire, but not usual standard, 3) Very poor. 4) Poor, below the standard expected, 5) Average, the least expected, 6) Better than average, but in patches only, 7) Good, generally decent performance, 8) Very good, above the standard, standing out at times, 9) Excellent, stood out all match, 10) Outstanding truly commanded the match.


Image gallery on official site:

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Thursday September 24 2009
Time: 9:21AM


ok, so where have I gone wrong in my match ratings... do tell!? Difficult to rate really as the game wasn't exactly on fire but hey, we won so who is complaining!?
The Fear
24/09/2009 09:29:00
Anyone go? What did you make of enckleman's pink kit? Poor sod, fancy making him wear that, mind you, the rest had to wear banana outfits, so at least they all looked daft!
The Fear
24/09/2009 09:31:00
Fear - I think we may be about to fall out again. 6 for Delph? What were you on last night? That lad is a diamond in the making. he hardly missed a pass and his long range passes all found their targets whilst those from other players were either too short or just badly placed.Delph is the future play maker that many on here have been calling for. An assured performance last night - worthy of an 8 and star man billing. Gabby - yes a good goal but for me a fair bit of show boating too. Delph is the real deal.
24/09/2009 10:06:00
I agree with the pink comments though. How can you dress a grown man in shocking pink? I suppose his defenders can see him and it put Milly off his spot kick, but he looked awful. Yes Gardner was disappointing and showed why he is not in the team. Some good touches but some sloppy play too. He'll be off to the blues in January. Albrighton should have had more time. Agree with your comments re Collins - for me he looks better than 'hoof it' Dunne and at least looks for a pass.
24/09/2009 10:10:00
I think 6 for Delph is about fair, he looks very, very 'raw' at the moment. Everybody says what a star he is and he has jumped two tiers to what is arguably the best league in the world......he's not there yet, by a long way. Time will tell though, I remember thinking 'What on Earth?' when I first say Ashley Young play after his big money transfer.
24/09/2009 10:32:00
Anyone else noticed John Carew making a pass over the shot a lot more this season? Some crunching tackles from Delph & from what I saw the booking was actually a good tackle as I thought he won the ball. Haven't seen highlights or anything though so I'm not too sure if it was. I can see why West Ham fans are disappointed over Collins sale. Was chuffed with his signing, it was the Dunne 1 I wasn't too pleased with. Glad to see Gardner get a game. Agree with Gordonsleftboot over Delph's performance. In for Reo-Coker against Blackburn me thinks. A win is a win, well done. ANOTHER CLEAN SHEET TOO?!?
24/09/2009 10:46:00
Oh lets not fall out Gordonsleftboot, lets just agree I'm right (always) and move on! :o) Think the comments about him from my point of view are justifyable, he is learning his trade, he is raw, some of his tackles were a bit 'ouch' and he has a way to go BUT you can see he'll get there, a rough diamond as they say. No argument that he'll be the real deal, don't think there would be any argument from the player and coaching staff that he isn't there yet - which makes him all the more exciting? Happy days, we aren't just building for the here and now, we've got talent in spades for the future.
The Fear
24/09/2009 13:26:00
yes Stu, there was one especially last night where it was primed for him to have a blast and yet he passed the ball instead. The pass ended up to no one and the chance was gone. I still think he looks short of 'something' maybe just a bit of match fitness (?) at the moment, so again, that can be taken as a positive as - same as Ash Young - they've not hit top stride yet and still we are winning our games.
The Fear
24/09/2009 13:30:00
I am in the GLB camp regarding Delph. He IS a player. And he is a player NOW. He tackles. Hits great long and short passes. Gets beyond the forwards. Is exactly aware of what his options are before the ball even gets to him. His first touch brings the ball under control and instantly moves him away from his markers. He doesn't panic under pressure. Even under intense pressure on the edge of his own box he finds a pass rather than just clearing his lines. The nearest thing I can compare him to would be a young Paul Scholes. Forget the age and the expected rawness, the sooner this kid learns his trade at the top table the sooner we will benefit. M'ON has to be sure not to burn him out, but he would be in my midfield on Saturday alongside Petrov and Sidwell. M'ON has landed us with an absolute diamond. On another note. Considering everybody who went to the Vienna game got a free ticket, after the visiting allocation is taken out, how come there were less Villa fans at the game then at the Vienna one?? That indicates to me that even with free tickets, fans couldn't be bothered to go. That to me is a huge concern for the club.
24/09/2009 13:40:00
I must be watching a different Aston Villa to some people on here, as I think Delph looks average at best at present. Perhaps my glasses aren't tinted??
24/09/2009 14:45:00
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